Green, J. (2008). Paper towns. New York: Dutton.
After falling head over heels for the hilarity and informativity (is this a real word? Not really 🙂 ) of the Vlogbrothers I picked up John Greens most recent book (although I think he’s going to have another one coming out soonish) Paper Towns. I’m not going to give a plot synopsis here, as I feel my bullet point description of the book would deflect people from reading it: Nerdy boys coming of age and being bad-asses by skipping their high school graduation… lame, pass! WRONG!!! Do not pass! I want to stress that Paper Towns is a really, really good read! I would recommend this book for parents of teens as much as I would recommend this book for anyone in high school, probably ideal for teens in the middle high school grades; You poor lost souls! Don’t worry you will eventually escape (although your teachers will be stuck there forever, so be nice to them!). The quality of John Green’s writing make his insights into individual emotions and societal observations so personal that it is easy to become the main characters. I was both Quentin and Margo and John Green was helping me through the feelings I thought I had no control over. As the book progresses you will find yourself becoming more open and definately more thoughtful. I won’t spoil it for you, but the last eighty pages contain some of the most influential writing I have read in a long time. For people who think they have a solid perception of who they are, as well as people who feel lost within themselves these pages will shatter your illusions and then gradually help you create a framework upon which you can begin to know yourself again. You will not be whole at the end of the book, but you may realize how empty you actually where when you started. This is the key effect of Paper Towns to help people see themselves as they truly and uniquely are. In a world where consumer culture can bombard us into subservient ,acronym title=”bewilderment: confusion resulting from failure to understand”> obfuscation I found it extremely rejuvenating to find a portal back to the root of my being to retrace who I actually am and what I actually care about.
Thank you John Green, you are freakin’ awesome!
PS – If you are just starting out I highly suggest that you watch a bunch of Vlogbrothers and/or Brotherhood 2.0 before, or while you’re reading John Green’s work. I think a lot of the attachment I had with this book came from the feeling that I know John Green almost personally. Occasionally the text changed from the narrative of the story and I totally felt like I was experiencing a Vlogbrother moment in the text. It was pretty cool and enriched my reading experience greatly.